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It can be after a long day on the job, following a harder than usual workout, or just any day that ends in “y.” We’ve all been there, and “there” is reeling from muscle pain. A 2016 survey published by the CDC states an estimated 20.4% (50 million) of U.S. adults had chronic pain. It's no wonder then that the market of personal massage tools ranging from small and targeted to big and full-bodied is completely saturated. And that's part of what makes it so difficult to find the best handheld massager. It helps to know what to look for, and that's where we look to the experts.
“Look for [a massage tool] that is easy to transport and have in your life daily,” says Whitney Tucker, a performance and wellness coach in New York City. “Otherwise, it will end up at the bottom of the closet with shoes you forgot about.” Fyt personal trainer Jayne Gomez suggests a deep tissue massager that utilizes percussive therapy. “Deep tissue massage helps to treat muscle pain and improve stiffness [and] percussive therapy is known to help muscles recover faster, reduce the lactic acid buildup that causes muscle pain, improve range of motion and flexibility, and encourage blood flow,” she says.
Keep in mind that deep tissue massagers may not be the best option for everyone, though. “Just like there are some cases in which you should not get a massage because of any pre-existing medical condition, you should heed those same guidelines when using a deep tissue massager,” Gomez explains. “In other words, if you have an injury, sprain, or any other chronic condition, make sure you talk to your doctor first before using a deep tissue massager.”
Ready to give it a try? Below, discover the best deep tissue massagers to buy right now.